Interesting guest post by Dmitri Sarle, CEO of ArcticStartup. As event organisers, we often get approached about Demo Stands. Startups want to know if they need one or not and I wanted to give you all an answer.
So, do you need a demo stand at an event? Frankly, most likely – the answer is no, at least at most events out there. Here are the three main reasons as to why you should not bother as well as one main reason when you definitely should.
Most Often They Are Expensive Without Justification
Let’s introduce some basic maths and logic. Events are all about actionable results and lead generation. If you are in it for “exposure” or “branding”, unless you are a larger company – that should not be your goal as there are cheaper ways to do it.
If your goal is to get customers leads, investor leads and hiring leads – then we are talking. So what you need to calculate is how many people you can meet potentially with just tickets alone. Then you estimate, based on your target group, how many extra people you would meet thanks to the Demo Stand. As a rule of thumb, a good event will net at least 150 contacts per day per thousand attendees.
Factor in the cost of the demo stand and figure out if the extra contacts are worth the price. Don’t forget to include the extra costs: the roll-ups, design of the booth, marketing materials and more.
To make the calculation at Arctic15 easy – they price of 200-300 extra leads is free, because you only need to get two tickets to the event and apply for the Demo Stand by Monday in order to get a chance to get one for free. After Monday, you will be able to get a guaranteed one.
One of the things I love the most about my work is hiring and culture management. Since we launched ArcticStartup… https://t.co/IKIfZhrNJJ
— Dmitri Sarle (@DSarle) October 17, 2016
Demo Stands Make You Miss Opportunities Outside Of The Area
Think about it, if you spend your whole time at your demo stand, you are bound to miss opportunities elsewhere.
During one conference day, each person in your company should meet 20-40 people and have a reasonable discussion with them. If you do not have a demo stand and you prepare for the event properly, you can have all the right meetings pre-scheduled and target only those people that you want to talk to. That means – ultra efficiency, especially at events that have pre-event matchmaking. Most of the value lies in these meetings and you can do most of them with just the tickets.
If you do get a Demo Stand, you should have enough people to do both, then you are really maximising your attendance. Schedule who will be at the Demo Stand at which time and who will be working the room and going to meetings. We recommend having 4 hour shifts to keep things interesting.
If You Do Not Prepare – You Do Not Need It
Finally – the amount of time you put in will determine if you need to get a demo stand.
Say that you know that your customers are there, investors are there and even potential employees are there at the event. Say that you know that you will meet couple of hundred people more thanks to the demo stand compared to just tickets alone.
Have you devised a plan? Do you have a lead generation laptop for writing down each person your team meets together with action points? Business card collection point? Flyers that won’t be thrown away? Did you divide your team into sub-teams of who will be at the demo stand and who will roam the conference and attend meetings? Did you figure out the logistics? Are you going to stand out compared to others at the event?
This type of planning takes time and if you are going to take a demo stand – you’d better have answers for how you will make the best one. That is why we ask people to fill out an application form for the free demo stands at Arctic15, because we only want the best ones.
Conclusion: Treat Events As Any Other Business Activity
In the end, we think that going to events is identical to any other business activity. Measure your return on investment based on the contacts you will meet, the knowledge you will gain and the cost it will involve.
Do the maths, measure, repeat. Eventually you will know which events are the best for your company and which ones only need you to get tickets and which ones will require a demo stand.
— ArcticStartup (@arcticstartup) October 22, 2016